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Somin Weighs In on Florida Property Rights Case

Professor Ilya Somin classifies arguments by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens about a Florida beach protection case as less than convincing, calling them "interesting, but mostly unpersuasive."

An article in  E & E Greenwire contains comments Stevens made in a recent speech regarding a 8-0 2010 Supreme Court decision in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

Stevens, who recused himself in the case, questioned four of the justices who signed onto the concept that there is such a thing as a judicial taking were a court to deprive a property owner of an established right to a given property.

Somin failed to be persuaded by Stevens' arguments in part because Stevens seemed to suggest the takings clause does not apply to the states.

"This would go against decades of Supreme Court precedent," says Somin.

SUPREME COURT: Retired justice revisits Fla. beach protection case, E & E Greenwire, October 4, 2012. By Lawrence Hurley.

Excerpt:

"Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has criticized some of his former colleagues on the court for their handling of a recent property rights case concerning Florida's attempts to restore and protect its beaches.

"The legal question in Stop the Beach Renourishment v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection was whether the Florida Supreme Court had effectively seized property, in violation of the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment, when it ruled that the state program did not violate property rights.

"Under the plan, the state wanted to expand the beach in front of privately owned houses in order to create a state-owned public area.

"In the 2010 decision, the court ended up ruling 8-0 that there was no 'judicial taking' in that instance. But four of the justices, led by Antonin Scalia, signed onto the idea that there is such a thing as a judicial taking were a court to deprive a property owner of an established right to a particular property."

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